There’s a little less than a month to wait until Professor Brainhov and his protégé Orville Tycoon do battle on PlayStation 3 and Vita. Canadian outfit Frima Studio – who you may remember from popular PlayStation Minis such as Widgets Odyssey and A Space Shooter for Two Bucks – is carefully applying the finishing touches to Zombie Tycoon 2: Brainhov’s Revenge as we type, a brand new cross-buy real-time strategy game for Sony’s flagship systems. In order to celebrate the impending release – 30th April in North America and 1st May in Europe – we caught up with producer Martin Brouard and community manager Laurent Mercure to discuss undead classification and PlayStation 4.
Push Square: For those that aren’t in the loop, could you give us the elevator pitch on Zombie Tycoon 2?
Frima Studio: Zombie Tycoon 2 is an action RTS in which players are given control over squads of zombies and a monster unit to lay waste on their enemies. The storyline pits together two rival mad scientists and their zombie armies – and the poor survivors of Finkleville are just caught in between.
PS: What made you decide to revisit Zombie Tycoon after the series debuted on PlayStation Minis in 2009?
FS: For us, Zombie Tycoon is one of our flagship brands, and we always intended to produce additional games featuring Orville Tycoon and his rather silly horde of undead minions. We love the brand so much that we've been working on developing a Zombie Tycoon animated series for a while now, and we are confident that it'll come to life in the coming years.
PS: Are there any plans to bring back any of your other PlayStation Minis brands? A Space Shooter for Two Bucks, perhaps?
FS: We’ve already ported A Space Shooter for Two Bucks to the Vita, and we’ve recently adapted one of our other brands Nun Attack for the Vita as well. Working with the guys at Sony is always a pleasure, so we plan to keep developing for their platforms.
PS: Could you talk a little bit about the inspiration behind the slow versus fast zombies dynamic?
FS: We describe it as classic zombies versus new zombies. Originally, zombies were slow and unstoppable – but we’re starting to see more and more of these fast and fragile zombies like the ones from I Am Legend. Which is the coolest? We couldn’t decide, so we decided to make them fight it out.
PS: What’s one feature in Zombie Tycoon 2 that you think that everyone should know about?
FS: Even though our single player campaign is a lot of fun, I think our multiplayer is really where Zombie Tycoon 2 shines; the game is highly tactical like the best RTS games out there. Since it supports cross-play and cross-buy, you’ll be able to play against a friend at home if you have a PS3 and a Vita with only one purchase.
PS: How have you found the experience working on a cross-buy game? Has it been tough spreading resources across two platforms?
FS: It has been challenging, but there are a lot of things that can be simply replicated in the process. We’ve developed internally a technology that allows us to port games really easily, and Sony is trying to make the process as simple as possible.
PS: What are the advantages of supporting cross-buy for you as a studio?
FS: We wanted players to experience the depth of the cross-play experience without a price barrier. We figured that most Vita owners also have a PS3, but are not necessarily willing to pay for the same game twice. Plus, the cross-play and cross-buy put together can give a great coach multiplayer experience.
PS: What do you think of the Vita’s situation at the moment? You’ve just released Nun Attack – what’s drawing you to the device?
FS: From an indie developer point of view, it’s a gateway that allows us to bring our games to a whole other level. It gives us more power to work with, while opening a door to a more hardcore player pool. The Vita is where the casual and the hardcore meet; it’s a jewel for any versatile indie studio. With more people buying Vitas for its use with the PS4, and indie developers investing in it, there’s no stopping this handheld.
PS: You’ve been big supporters of the various PlayStation platforms over the past few years. Do you have any plans for the PS4?
FS: Of course. Working with Sony is really straightforward and enjoyable. Everyone there is focused on helping developers get their game in the players’ hands. We love the PlayStation platforms, and we love the people we work with at Sony, so you can be sure that we will be there on the amazing system that is the PS4.
Are you looking forward to Zombie Tycoon 2? Where do you stand on the classic versus new zombies debate? Let us know in the comments section and poll below.
Who do you think would win in a fight? (5 votes)
I'm not sure that I'd like to be around to find out
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